Saturday, March 7, 2009

Olympic National Park, Washington: Second Beach

Sometimes a top attraction can blindside a tourist when he or she is least expecting it. Such was the case with Second Beach.

Olympic National Park is divided into two distinct regions. The main one, in the middle of the Olympic peninsula, has the mountains and rain forests. There's a separate region, though, along the coast. The guidebooks said to check out one of the isolated beaches, so we did.

We walked about a mile along a very green trail, finally dropping down to ocean level. We were greeted by sea stacks, shown above. It looked like Monument Valley had been dropped into the Pacific Ocean, and the effect was breath-taking. You can see the trees on top of the stack above, and birds were obviously nesting there as well. This was our favorite part of the park.

By the way, there are sea stacks just off the coast at Rialto Beach, which is only a short distance from the parking lot for Second Beach, and they require less walking to see them. But our way seemed more dramatic, and thus better.

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